Saturn and Control

Saturn symbolizes responsibility, control, structure, tradition and necessity, and by Saturn’s standards, all of these traits are intertwined. After reading that, many people probably rolled their eyes. Historically, Saturn has often gotten a bad reputation in astrology. Once upon a time it was referred to as the “Great Malefic.” But like all symbols in astrology, there are various ways they can manifest, and free will is always in play. Saturn is primarily concerned with what works, what it deems practical and necessary. And what you think is necessary may not always match up with what really is. Saturn can strip away all your illusions. Sometimes that can be a good way to shake things up. People can be way too fond of their illusions. And Saturn relies on structure and experience to keep it functioning to the best of its abilities.

So Saturn loves control. But what is control, anyway? Is it always about getting your way? Is it always about forcing events and situations into specific patterns? This is the conventional view. We use terms like “control freak” to dismiss the concept, and often consider control a form of dictatorship and oppression. And that is one form of control. To a degree, suppression works, temporarily. If we can banish the things we dislike and wish to ignore, if we can set up a refuge where we only have to accept the things we like and deem safe, it can seem peaceful and serene. But suppressed things haven’t really gone away. They sit and fester. They push back. Eventually they will demand an audience, or simply rebel. And in that so-called “peaceful serenity” the suppressed things are always in the back of the mind. Denial only works for a while.

There is another form of control that plays to Saturn’s true strengths. Saturn respects the kind of self-control born from experience. Saturn respects the trust and faith in yourself that arises from years of earned skills. The ability to face, cope and manage anything that presents itself in your path is the kind of control Saturn truly admires. This is the strength that comes from acquired self-respect.

I often like to use the analogy of a surfer. No one can force the ocean to do anything. It expects a certain deference and respect. And a seasoned skilled surfer knows to wait for the right wave, knows how to read that wave and the topography of the situation, and harnesses and cooperates with the force of nature.

This is a form of control born from acceptance. This is the kind of control that gives you true power: self-confidence. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, once you have learned how to assess a situation, once you can trust yourself to find a way to deal with whatever crosses your path in life, then you are truly in control, and the terms “safe” and “unsafe” become unnecessary.


  1. I felt at times Saturn was a mean overbearing know-it-all. I have come to realize Saturn has been a hard lesson to learn. I am learning that structure and experience is a friend .

  2. I kind of like Saturn. I once lived under a Saturn line, and found there I had great self-control, as you have said. Like for exercising, eating right, doing my spiritual works and tasks.

    Now I live under a Pluto line and I must say, I miss Saturn at times!

    1. Are you referring to Astro-Cartography?

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